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WATCH: Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Hair-Raising Experience -- Being Blonde Zack Morris!

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For the record: Mark-Paul Gosselaar has always been a serious actor, even when he was playing personality challenged Zack Morris on the goofy ’90s sitcom Saved by the Bell. “The reason why it was such a success in my opinion was because we worked really hard at it,” Gosselaar, 35, now the star of the TNT legal series Raising the Bar, tells PEOPLE. “I feel things work because of the amount of effort that you put into it, you’ll see a return. That was the way it was for Saved by the Bell. We didn’t take anything for granted on that show.” And that work ethic extended to the toil required for the blond hair sported by the naturally brunette Gosselaar. “I sat every three weeks in a chair getting my hair done by someone on the set putting in foils,” he says. “I’m lucky that I came out the way I did. It really could have scarred me.” We’re happy to see that Gosselaar takes his blonde days in stride, even turning up on Jimmy Fallon’s couch last night in full Zack Morris costume — done to his perfectly highlighted hair. Tell us: Do you prefer Mark-Paul with his natural brunette hair or his teen-era blonde locks? –Michael Fleeman